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Learn Who Your State Attorney General Is

Learn who your state attorney general (AG) is.

Your AG is the most important legal authority in your state.

He or she enters lawsuits on your behalf, including high-profile ones such as efforts to stop the Trump administration from removing Obama-era health care protections from LGBTQ patients; suing the United States Postal Service to reverse changes made by Postmaster Louis DeJoy; and suing Facebook to break up its monopoly on social media.

It’s a good idea to know who your state AG is.

Just like current U.S. governors and secretaries of state, the state AGs have their own organization: the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG).

It maintains a page that shows photographs of all current state AGs. Clicking on an AG’s picture takes you to a biography of the person, along with their office street address, phone number, and website link.

See the state AGs page on the NAAG site:

Bookmark the page to easily look up your own state AG, as well as the state AGs of your chosen Swing State and Red State.

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Learn Who Your State Governor Is

Who’s the current governor of your state? Visit this website and find out.

There’s an organization for everything, and sitting United States governors have their own.

It’s called (imagine a drum roll here) the National Governors Association (NGA).

The NGA has done us all a service by listing and providing pictures of all current governors in the United States, in alphabetical order.

See every governor of the United States of America here:

If you click on a governor, you’ll go to a page that gives you a capsule biography that includes how long they’ve served in office; their birth date; name of their spouse; their party affiliation, and their public contact information–phone number, website, etc.

Bookmark the page to find your own governor, and the governors of the Swing State and the Red State that you choose to adopt.

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Help Georgia Senator Rev. Raphael Warnock Win Re-election in 2022

Help Georgia Senator Rev. Raphael Warnock win re-election in 2022.

Remember Rev. Raphael Warnock? He and Jon Ossoff were all that OTYCD talked about between the November 2020 election and early January 2021, and that’s not an exaggeration. Almost every post we ran in that timeframe focused on helping the two win their Senate runoffs, and hooray! They both did.

But there’s a bit of a catch. Like his Democratic Senate colleague Mark Kelly of Arizona, Warnock succeeded in a special election that awarded him control of a Senate seat for two years. Warnock is due to run again in 2022.

The aftermath of the November 2020 elections made it clear that we were right to fear that democracy itself was on the line. Our votes preserved it, but our Congressional victories aren’t as robust as we need them to be.

If the Republicans win the House of Representatives in 2022, they won’t just shut down President Joe Biden’s agenda, they’ll try to impeach him. And if we lose just one Senate seat in 2022–just one!–the chamber falls into the reptilian clutches of Mitch McConnell again.

If you are from Georgia, please put Rev. Raphael Warnock in your Core Four Plus for 2022 now.

See our story on the Core Four Plus concept: https://onethingyoucando.com/2021/02/04/think-about-your-core-four-plus-four-dems-plus-a-voting-rights-org-to-support-in-2022/

If you aren’t from Georgia, but can afford to donate to Warnock’s campaign, please make a monthly commitment. If you can’t give monthly, aim to give quarterly in March, June, September, and December. Warnock’s ActBlue link is here:

https://secure.actblue.com/entity/fundraisers/93172

If you can adopt Georgia as your Home State or Swing State under the Home State, Swing State, Red State strategy we at OYTCD have talked about, please do.

Also please see and bookmark the OTYCD Georgia Resources page, which includes several organizations that helped Warnock win in January 2021. They are readying to help him again come 2022.

If you can’t do any of those things for whatever reason, you can at minimum follow and boost Warnock on social media.

See Warnock’s official Senate webpage:

https://www.senate.gov/senators/117thCongress/warnock-raphael.htm

See Warnock’s campaign site, which includes volunteer and donation links:

warnockforgeorgia.com

Like Warnock on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/reverendwarnock/

Follow Warnock on Twitter:

@ReverendWarnock

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Support No Dem Left Behind, An Organization Devoted to Electing Democrats in Deep Red Districts

Support No Dem Left Behind, an organization that’s devoted to electing Democrats running for office in deep red parts of the country.

OTYCD first ran this story in August 2020. Read it here:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2020/08/11/support-no-dem-left-behind-an-organization-devoted-to-electing-democrats-in-deep-red-districts/

Already did this? Did as much as you can with this? Don’t want to do this today? Check here and also here:

https://onethingyoucando.com/want-to-do-more/

https://onethingyoucando.com/your-2021-to-do-list-there-are-no-more-off-years-only-less-intense-years/

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Plan Your 2022 Fund, for Both Time and Money

Plan your 2022 fund–figure out how much you can set aside, in both time and money, for the 2022 political races.

This OTYCD story originally ran in November 2020. Read it here:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2020/11/14/plan-your-2022-fund-for-both-time-and-money/

Rerunning this now in honor of the late Carol Lindeen, a Wisconsin woman who passed away in January 2021 at the age of 81 and asked, in her obituary, that “in lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Ron Johnson’s opponent in 2022.”

Read a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story about her last wish:

https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2021/03/02/wisconsin-obituary-asks-donations-ron-johnsons-2022-opponent-in-lieu-of-flowers/6881568002/

Already did this? Did as much as you can with this? Don’t want to do this today? Check here and also here:

https://onethingyoucando.com/want-to-do-more/

https://onethingyoucando.com/your-2021-to-do-list-there-are-no-more-off-years-only-less-intense-years/

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

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Learn Who Your State-level Elected Representatives Are, and What Bills They’re Discussing, With the Open States Search Tool

Learn who your state-level elected representatives are, and the bills they’re discussing, with the Open States search tool.

One of the good things that came from the Trump era was a general increase in interest in how the government worked, or failed to, on all levels–federal, state, and local.

The Open States project originated in 2009 but only recently gained the attention it has long deserved.

It offers must-bookmark tools that help you identify who your state-level legislators are and help you track legislation moving through the state’s Congress.

Knowing what’s happening at the state level was always important and it has only grown more important in the wake of the 2020 election. Republicans have steadily focused on winning elected office at all levels, no matter how seemingly insignificant or obscure, and those wins have helped them pursue the goal of slowly, steadily shifting the country further to the right, even as the American electorate disagrees with many right-wing policies and expresses support for seemingly left-wing policies in poll after poll.

Republicans are using their powers to try to pass bills that would cripple voting rights in their home states. In January 2021, the Brennan Center reported that 28 state legislatures had introduced more than 100 bills that would stomp on their citizens’ ability to access the ballot box.

Cites: https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/02/politics/voting-rights-state-legislation/index.html

The state legislators who represent you might be among those who are pushing these noxious bills.

If you phone or email them to tell them you support or oppose their votes on specific state-level bills, your efforts will have an effect. Reading OTYCD makes you more politically active than most. A vanishingly small group of people are able to name their state-level legislators, and even fewer tell them how they feel about live legislation moving through the state Congress.

So! Your task today is to bookmark Open States and use its search tool to find your state legislators. It’s on the right of the page at this link:

https://openstates.org

Once you know who they are and how to phone them, pull up the January 2021 Brennan Center report on voting rights, read the report, and see if your state is one of the 28 with legislatures attempting to restrict the right to vote:

https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/voting-laws-roundup-january-2021

Sometimes the Brennan Center report cites chambers and numbers for specific state bills. In other places, it just names a state. Point being, you might need to use Open States’s Search & Track Legislation tool to unearth bills moving through your state Congress that intend to curb voting rights. You might need to plug the words “voting” or “elections” into the search engine to find relevant bills. The legislation tool is at this link and appears on the left:

https://openstates.org

If your state-level elected representatives are Republicans who are sponsoring or supporting anti-voting rights bills, call them and tell them you are not happy about that.

If your state-level elected representatives are Democrats who have introduced or supported new bills that would protect and expand voting rights, call them and say “Thank you! You’re doing what I want you to do.”

Then, if you can spare the funds, run their names through ActBlue, see if they’re listed, and give them a donation. Consider if you can donate to them on a monthly basis.

Periodically use Open States to pull up the names of your state reps and see what bills they’re championing. Call them to say “thank you, more like this, please” or “hey, I don’t like that one bit, please stop” as needed.

When you can, use the legislation tracker to search on words related to topics that matter to you: free speech, abortion, public schools, gun control, natural resources, etc. If you find a bill you like, ask your reps to vote for it. If you find a bill you hate, ask them to vote no.

See the main Open States page, which is the same link we’ve directed you to for the search tools:

https://openstates.org

Subscribe to the Open States newsletter:

https://cdn.forms-content.sg-form.com/b8d934d4-7b67-11ea-a680-1a7f462d56d4

Read the Open States About page:

https://openstates.org/about/

Learn how you can help Open States and its efforts:

https://openstates.org/about/contributing/

Read about how Open States has joined Civic Eagle:

https://blog.openstates.org/open-states-joins-civic-eagle/

Follow Open States on Twitter:

@openstates

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

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Support Vote Mama, An Organization That Helps Mothers Run for Elected Office

Support Vote Mama, an organization that helps mothers run for elected office.

The makeup of America’s elected officials doesn’t match the makeup of America as a whole. It’s not even close. A 2014 Washington Post story on representation and demographics headlined a startling statistic: White men comprise 31 percent of the American population, but hold 65 percent of all elected offices.

Cites: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2014/10/08/65-percent-of-all-american-elected-officials-are-white-men/

Things are slowly and steadily improving on at least one front. The 117th Congress, sworn in a few months ago, is the most diverse to date, and is the sixth consecutive Congress to improve on the diversity numbers of the previous one.

Cites: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/01/28/racial-ethnic-diversity-increases-yet-again-with-the-117th-congress/

Women face many obstacles to running for office, and women who are mothers to children under the age of 18 face all those obstacles and more.

Liuba Gretchen Shirley hit those obstacles head on in 2018 when she ran for a House of Representatives seat in New York state. The mother of two young children–they were three and one at the time–learned that the Federal Election Commission (FEC) didn’t allow candidates to use campaign funds to cover child care expenses.

Gretchen Shirley lost the House race, but changed things for the better nonetheless. In April 2018, during her campaign, she petitioned the FEC to change the rules to permit candidates to spend campaign funds on child care. The following month, the FEC voted unanimously to make that change.

Cites: https://www.npr.org/2018/05/10/610099506/fec-says-that-candidates-can-use-campaign-funds-for-child-care

Instead of running again in 2020, Gretchen Shirley launched Vote Mama, an organization that recruits progressive-minded mothers to run for office at all levels, and helps them avoid the snags she encountered during her campaign.

Vote Mama’s roster of victorious candidates includes Mimi Rocah, now the district attorney of Westchester, New York; Grace Meng, a freshman House of Representatives member for New York’s 6th District; and several state Congress members in Georgia, Illinois, and Wisconsin. It also notched wins in Virginia’s state legislature in 2019.

See the main website for Vote Mama:

https://www.votemama.org

Read the Our Story page:

https://www.votemama.org/our-story

See the Vote Mama Victories page:

https://www.votemama.org/victories

Ask Vote Mama to help you run for office:

https://www.votemama.org/be-a-vote-mama

Donate to Vote Mama:

Like Vote Mama on Facebook:

Follow Vote Mama on Twitter:

@VoteMamaUs

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Find Out Which Organizations Are Handling the Grab-and-Go Lunch Program at Your Local Public Schools, and Donate to Them

Re-running this post, which first appeared in March 2020, because COVID-19 lockdowns are still A Thing, and for too many kids, programs such as these are their only reliable source of food when in-person school isn’t an option.

Already did this? Did as much as you can with this? Don’t want to do this today? Check here and also here:

https://onethingyoucando.com/want-to-do-more/

https://onethingyoucando.com/your-2021-to-do-list-there-are-no-more-off-years-only-less-intense-years/

Find out which organizations are handling the grab-and-go lunch program at your local public schools, and give them money.

The spread of Covid-19 is pitilessly exposing all the frayed links in our social safety net. One obstacle to shutting down public school systems is the fact that for a significant minority of children, their only reliable source of meals is their school cafeteria.

Grab-and-go lunch programs have sparked into being to serve this need by opening the school daily only to those who need meals.

We’re asking you to call around, find out which organizations are responsible for running the grab-and-go programs, and donate to their efforts.

If you have a kid in school, try emailing the school’s administrative office or asking about it on your school’s Facebook page.

Alternately, you could try calling your local school department, or your local food bank. They’ll probably know the answer or know who else you can check with.

Another thing to think about for the near future is supporting school-based feeding programs during the summer. We wrote about this before, and deadlines for food donations and for offering a specific venue as a feeding site start arriving this month and next.

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

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Support Lawyer Marc Elias and Democracy Docket

Support lawyer Marc Elias and Democracy Docket.

In the run-up to the 2020 election, we at OTYCD didn’t have time to devote stand-alone stories to organizations and individuals that deserve a showcase. A happy, welcome side effect of Biden’s election is things are not nearly as crazy now, and we can write and queue pieces that trumpet people who are doing vital work.

Lawyer Marc Elias deserves your attention. We at OTYCD cited and retweeted him constantly on the blog’s Twitter account (@OneThingYCD) from Labor Day 2020 through early January, and continue to do so.

As a partner in Perkins Coie and the leader of its political law group, he defended the right to vote in America, and defended the integrity of Joe Biden’s electoral victory against at least 63 lawsuits brought by Trump and his minions. (Only one of Team Trump’s actions succeeded, and that was a relatively minor one that didn’t bear on his ceaseless, baseless claims that the election had been rigged or tainted by voter fraud. That victory was ultimately overturned.)

Cites on the Trump lawsuits: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-election_lawsuits_related_to_the_2020_United_States_presidential_election

In March 2020, Elias launched Democracy Docket, a website that discussed, tracked, and detailed court cases that had the potential to reshape the way elections and voting happen in America.

Democracy Docket became a vital resource for learning what the heck was going on during an intense election year that was affected by a pandemic. How can I cast a ballot by mail without using the United States Postal Service? How can I cure my ballot? What are my rights as a voter? DD was on top of it, whatever it was.

Trump’s nuclear-level sore loser behavior has kept Elias and DD busy in the months since November. Republicans are aggressively pursuing bills that would hamstring voting rights on the state level. Elias and his colleagues are watching, and they stand ready to fight back.

Cites on Republicans aggressively pursuing bills that squelch voting rights:

https://www.vox.com/22254482/republicans-voter-suppression-state-legislatures

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/02/politics/voting-rights-state-legislation/index.html

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/voting-restriction-proposals-republican-states/

We at OTYCD urge you all to follow Elias and Democracy Docket on Twitter, visit the Democracy Docket website often, subscribe to its newsletter, and donate to their efforts if you can afford it. Elias and in particular, Democracy Docket, rank among the most valuable resources we’ve come across.

See the Democracy Docket website:

http://www.democracydocket.com

See its page for tracking live post-election legislation and its impact on assorted states:

https://www.democracydocket.com/case_type/active-cases/

See its “About” page:

http://www.democracydocket.com/about

Subscribe to the Democracy Docket newsletter:

http://www.democracydocket.com/subscribe

Visit its “Learn” page, which does a consistently excellent job of explaining election- and voting-related issues in clear, plain language:

http://www.democracydocket.com/learn

See “The Latest”, Democracy Docket’s landing page for its most recent stories:

https://www.democracydocket.com/category/the-latest/

Follow Marc Elias on Twitter:

@marceelias

Donate to Democracy Docket through Paypal:

https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=3KMFENEYFBY9U

Like Democracy Docket on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/democracydocket/

Follow Democracy Docket on Twitter:

@democracydocket

Read a February 2021 Law.com profile of Marc Elias:

https://www.law.com/americanlawyer/2021/02/01/perkins-coies-marc-elias-became-every-democrats-favorite-lawyer-now-he-wants-to-reform-democracy-itself/?slreturn=20210207104606

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Believe It: You Matter, Part XXII; Don’t Go to Sleep

Believe It: You Matter, Part XXII; Don’t Go to Sleep.

OTYCD first posted this story in July 2020. We’re rerunning it now as a reminder to stay engaged.

I’m Sarah Jane. I write all the Believe It: You Matter entries. Another reason we’re rerunning this one now is I am slowly coming to accept that yes, really, Trump is no longer the president.

As each week passes with Biden in office, and not Trump… Well, it feels as if I’ve had my hands curled into fists for four years straight, and my fingers are slowly unfurling and separating. I’m regaining functions I forgot I had.

The shift is proceeding slowly, and for sure, the COVID-19 safeguards are making it go more slowly than it might otherwise. But it’s happening. I don’t trust it completely, and I’m not sure how to adjust to it. I’m still figuring that out.

I know I don’t need to grind as hard and as fiercely as I did mere months ago. I know I need to let myself catch up on rest that I put off when things were extra-nuts. I know I need to keep fighting Trump and Trumpism, and I know I need to stay in shape, as that applies to civic engagement and whatnot.

Anyway. If you feel like you’re in a weird place with your activism, you aren’t alone. The story we’re reposting might help you figure out how to move ahead, or continue to move ahead.

Read Believe It: You Matter, Part XXII; Don’t Go to Sleep (and be warned that I swear a fair amount):

https://onethingyoucando.com/2020/10/05/believe-it-you-matter-part-xxii-dont-go-to-sleep-2/

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